UN seeks $74-M for flood victims
|Posted by Manila Mail under Articles/Stories|
UNITED NATIons – The United Nations has issued an immediate appeal for the international community to pledge emergency assistance to the Philippines following massive devastation from storm “Ondoy.”
The UN said the severity of Ondoy and the extensive damage it caused placed considerable pressure on the capacities of many local and national response agencies.
“To support the government, the international humanitarian community, including NGOs, the International Organization for Migration, and United Nations agencies, is seeking $74,021,809 to address the immediate needs of approximately 1,000,000 of the 2,507,000 people that the government currently reports have been affected by the tropical storm and floods,” the UN said. On Sept. 28 Philippine Foreign Secretary Alberto Romulo met with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon for assistance following the epic floods in Manila and 25 provinces that killed almost 300 people.
Meanwhile, the Department of Foreign Affairs said foreign financial assistance to victims of “Ondoy” has reached over P566 million.
“The Philippine government is deeply appreciative of our international partners’ swift response to our call for aid,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo said.
He said the DFA will work closely with the National Disaster Coordinating Council, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, and the Philippine National Red Cross and other agencies “to ensure that these donations reach our distressed “kababayan” as soon as possible.”
The European Union, in a letter sent by its President Jose Manuel Barroso to President Arroyo, expressed sympathy for typhoon victims and relief personnel.
A European Commission needs assessment team arrived in Manila recently with P138 million in relief funds.
The French Foreign Ministry has given 10,000 euros or roughly P690,000 to the PNRC as initial contribution.
Germany is providing 500,000 euros or P35 million in emergency humanitarian aid for the victims, to be supervised by German humanitarian aid organizations.
The Spanish embassy in Manila, through its Technical Cooperation Office, has forked over an estimated P10 million in food aid. It has also sent 250,000 euros or P17 million through the Red Cross and NGO Accion Contra el Hambre. Spain’s total contribution amounted to one million euros or P69 million.
The Swiss government has also made available approximately P11 million to support emergency related operation.
The combined European aid totaled P254 million.
A team from the UN Humanitarian Affairs Office is submitting an urgent appeal before the UN body for a $70-million assistance.
Ann Kristin Brundorg, UN-HAO team leader, said this amount is initially needed to assist the Philippine government sustain ongoing massive humanitarian, relief and rehabilitation operations in flood-ravaged areas in Metro Manila and nearby provinces in Southern Tagalog and Central Luzon.
“The UN headquarters has initially granted our funding request of $7 million,” Brundorg said at Camp Aguinaldo.
The US government initially donated $100,000 for relief efforts.
The US Agency for International Development (USAID) sent jerry cans, hygiene kits containing laundry and toiletry supplies, and plastic sheeting worth approximately P19 million.
“ China pitched in $100,000 donation in check and $10,000 to the PNRC.
Chinese firm Huawei donated $30,000. Singapore raised a total of $50,000 in seed money to jumpstart a donation drive by the Singapore Red Cross.
The Japanese government is sending $220,000 worth of relief goods.
Australia committed A$1 million to support response and recovery activities.
South Korea has donated rice, tents, medical supplies and other essential items worth $300,000 which it coursed through the DSWD. A Korean company, OCI Co. Ltd., also donated $50,000 through the PNRC.
The Canadian government has pledged Canadian $5 million (approximately $4.7 million).
The officers and staff of the Canadian embassy in Manila raised funds among themselves and friends and donated $50,000 for the victims of the tropical storm.
Ambassador Hilario Davide Jr., Philippine Permanent Representative to the UN, said UN General Assembly President Ali Abdussalam Treki also personally voiced his sympathy when they chanced upon each other at the UN headquarters on Tuesday.
The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), of which the Philippines is one of its 118 members, also expressed solidarity with the Philippines.